nVidia-related Black Screen of Death [solved]

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nVidia-related Black Screen of Death [solved]

Postby PapaNerd on Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:25 pm

I've been using Ubuntu since v6.06 and try to stick with the LTS versions. Like many, v10.04 was fine, but the abandonment of the gnome interface for Unity in v12.04 was too far overboard. So, I downloaded and burned the four Mint 13 desktop options to DVD, and after going back and forth, decided to install Cinnamon on my A8N-VM CSM machine (built-in nVidia C51PV video, a GeForce 6150) connected to a ViewSonic VG910b (1280x1024) monitor.

After zeroing the boot and root partitions, I did a clean install, which appeared to go well (after working through the "nomodeset" glitch/feature on the installation DVD). Now, upon re-boot, the screen goes black (no blinking cursor, nothing), and I cannot even switch to the CLI via cntl-alt-f(anything).

Since this was my first mint installation, needless to say I'm not too impressed that making this work seamlessly using a fairly common graphics set was missed in the development and testing phases of the project. Any ideas from the community on how to resolve this?

10-Dec update: Since my original post, I was able to boot from a LiveCD, mount the hard drive, temporarily change the default in /boot/grub/grub.cfg to boot into recovery mode, exit recovery to boot into the Mint 13 OS, and then login successfully. I then used apt to update packages, but that didn't resolve the black screen problem. I was able to find some suggestions in the forums, but all were for older versions of the OS, and suggested changing parameters which no longer exist. After updating all the packages, I tried the nvidia drivers shown in Synaptic Package Manager, but upon reboot find that those trashed my GUI to the point where I cannot do anything except reinstall. So, do I keep trying Mint, or should I switch to something else?

11-Dec update: Spent most of the day yesterday wiping the partitions, installing Ubuntu v12.04.1 LTS, and trying various nvidia driver options and tricks suggested in other forums ... but without success. Both Mint 13 and Ubuntu v12.04.1 boot to a black screen of death after installation on this machine. If recovery mode can boot into a viewable screen, why can't regular mode? Is there a simple boot parameter I can add/change/delete in one of the files in the /etc/grub.d directory?
Last edited by PapaNerd on Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: black screen on re-boot after new Mint 13 Cinnamon insta

Postby PapaNerd on Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:30 pm

I have now had Mint 13 up and running for a month. Since I did not find a solution elsewhere to the Black Screen of Death problem with built-in nVidia C51PV GeForce 6150 graphics on a A8N-VM CSM motherboard, I suppose it is fair to document for others how I solved it for my installation.

Here is the process in a nutshell:

Part A - Overcome the Black Screen of Death on the installation CD/DVD:
1. Boot from installation CD/DVD
2. When the "Linux Mint" screen comes up and gives you the automatic boot countdown, press any Arrow key followed by the Tab key
3. Enter "nomodeset" at the end of the command line shown, and then press Enter
4. Perform a normal software installation

Part B - Overcome the Black Screen of Death after the software installation:
1. At the end of the software installation process, boot a second time from the installation CD/DVD
2. Open a terminal window
3. Type: sudo mkdir /mnt/boot
4. Type: sudo mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/boot (if needed, change "sda1" to match your boot partition)
5. Use your favorite editor to edit the /mnt/boot/grub/grub.cfg file and change the "0" to a "1" in the "set default" line so it reads: set default "1"
6. Remove the installation media and reboot
7. Exit from the recovery screen by selecting "resume" and then "ok"
8. Login, and open a terminal window
9. Use your favorite editor to edit the /etc/default/grub file
10. Add "nomodeset" to the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT line so that it reads: GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash nomodeset"
11. Type: sudo update-grub
12. Test the fix by rebooting
Last edited by PapaNerd on Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: nVidia-related Black Screen of Death [solved]

Postby bobble on Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:43 pm

Thanks PapaNerd,
I've got a system with an Nvidia GeForce 6200 card running Mint 13 Maya and have been having a problem with the black screen of death. From other posts I'd found on the forum I found that by typing "e" when having a boot selection highlighted I could edit grub and add the "nomodeset xforcesvesa" and continue into Mint. Eventually, I found all I needed was "nomodeset".

I spent a good deal of time today reading about grub 2 and trying to figure out in which file and where I needed to insert the "nomodeset" so I didn't have to type it each time I rebooted.

Following the last four lines (steps 9. thru 12.) of your instructions solved that problem. But, instead of "sudo grub-mkconfig", I used "sudo update-grub".
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Re: nVidia-related Black Screen of Death [solved]

Postby PapaNerd on Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:55 pm

Thanks bobble ... glad I could help. You are correct about line 11 and I have now corrected it above. That's what I get for trying to remember the process a month later and copying the update line out of the boot.cfg file.
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Re: nVidia-related Black Screen of Death [solved]

Postby agiron_78 on Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:04 pm

Glad that I found this thread. I was facing the same exact problems. Going to try to install again. Will let you know if it works.
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Re: nVidia-related Black Screen of Death [solved]

Postby agiron_78 on Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:09 pm

So I tried to use nomodeset, and I am still getting a black screen and sent back to the screen that I see when my computer starts to boot.
I have a Dell XPS 630i, which has an nVidia 8800 GT, which after googling it seems to be a "problem child" for installing linux. What should I do to get the DVD to boot?
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